Traditionally, automotive enthusiasts fueled their career dreams by choosing vocations that allowed them to express their passion and make a living from it. For example, depending on which part of the industry you preferred, you’d get an internship, make a name for yourself, and rise through the ranks to one day put your tire track across the pages of automotive history.
Nowadays, with technological advancements and the rise of social media, it’s even easier — but in some ways harder — to get a job in the automotive industry. So if you’re passionate about vehicles and need some ideas for potential work, keep reading. This list should get those gears grinding!
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You’ve probably seen the fine print in many car commercials. You know, the part where it says, “Closed course. Professional driver.” Well, for those of you willing to take the car by the wheel and seize the gear shifter, stunt driving isn’t too lofty a goal. While there are associated risks and potential work hazards of the job, there’s an equal share of fame and fortune. Just ask Ken Block.
Ah, “the classics.” It’s not just the older models made in a time when seat belts were optional and stereos used 8-tracks. Or even cassettes. Remember them? The scope of restoration is both wide and narrow. Many car owners will pay large amounts of money to restore their favorite vehicles but these cars are named and coveted for being scarce and individualistic.
We couldn’t make a list of the potential careers in the automotive industry and forget to include this no-brainer. It’s obvious, yes, but there’s quite a demand for mechanics these days. You may think that with technology on the rise, and more features and processes moving to robotic automation, technicians aren’t as necessary. But you’d be wrong. Service workers are still a critical component to the success of nearly any automotive brand.
Production and Assembly
Fashionistas stamp their name on the clothes, jewelry, or shoes they design. So why should it be any different for those who help assemble the very vehicles that millions of people go out and buy each year? Production and assembly of automobiles might not be the most glamorous job out there, but much like service technicians, it’s a necessary workforce. It’s also highly underrated.
Marketing and Public Relations
Like any other business, automotive brands and their respective dealerships need successful public relations. After all, you can’t sell a vehicle to someone who doesn’t know it exists. There are many ways you can fulfill those role. You could become a spokesperson for relations with nearby businesses at a dealership. Or speak to the press about upcoming models at trade shows and offer the brand’s outlook for the next five years. As long as you are “a good writer and have event management and planning skills along with a love for cars, you could work as a public relation manager or officer with any car company.”
Accountants, title clerks, and financial officers are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the finance department. A finance career in the automotive industry isn’t complicated, because it all boils down to numbers. Really, it’s just about learning the different terms, rates, and definitions associated with leasing, buying, and selling vehicles.
Monster describes automotive engineers as those people who “design new cars and seek to improve current models. Along the way, they’re given many different challenges, depending on the manufacturer’s needs.” If you’re looking to be a bit more involved in the entire design process, but don’t exactly have a knack for drawing up sleek lines and the next-best cutting-edge model, a career as an automotive engineer might be just up your alley. Save the design work for the artists, but help turn their visions into reality.
As long as there are cars on the road, there will be rental agencies. Whether you rent an exotic ride for a special occasion or just need a compact car to get around while on vacation, renting a car isn’t a service we see declining anytime soon. The best part about working for a rental agency? The vast number of models you get to drive.
Detailing is another service not likely to die out soon. Most professional detailers don’t perform the amount of work restoration experts do, but that’s not to say the job isn’t a difficult one. Physical fitness and a strong immune system are key to success in this field. The good news is that you can charge a pretty penny to de-gunk someone’s pigsty of a vehicle. Cha-ching!
Whether it was Hot Wheels toys or Need for Speed games, most car enthusiasts grew up play-acting with vehicles of all kinds of shapes, sizes, and forms. Being able to manipulate reality and create a space where you can experience these vehicles virtually is a dream come true for many. This potential career would be a great way for you to channel your creative drive, technical skills, and automotive passion. Plus, there’s typically a hefty salary involved. You know, to buy the real life cars you program into your games.
Driving School Instructor
Be prepared. This career takes a bit of patience and people skills. That being said, a career as a driving instructor is something you don’t need a lot of schooling for. Just make sure your driving record doesn’t scream “reckless.” Since almost every city, big or small, needs plenty of instructors, you could find work nearly anywhere.
Remember when we talked about getting to drive a lot of different types of cars? That’s something you can experience by being a valet, too. It’s not the most respected job when it comes to working up the ladder or having control over your income. At the same time, you’ll count yourself lucky when an exotic car needs parking and you’re the fortunate soul who gets to escort it. This is more of a stepping stone than a permanent career choice, but everyone has to start somewhere!
Fabrication and Machining
We talked about the service industry and even detailing and restoration. But consider the people who make those tools you use to wrench off this bolt or tighten down that screw. These machinists and fabricators take the time to work out what’s going to get the job done in the best way. So if you’re mechanically inclined and ready to improve the tool industry, start up your lathe! Service technicians all over the world are waiting.
It is this career specifically that takes advantage of the various social media platforms of today. In the social sphere, consumers want to see all the cool, fancy things that new cars can do. And they want to see them without the hassle of visiting a dealership. Auto blogging is “similar to an automotive journalist, but you’ll be your own boss.” If you can resonate with the people and bring them the inside scoop they want. Your paychecks practically write themselves.
Pick Your Passion
There are many other careers available in the automotive industry as well. Which career do you see yourself pursuing? Are there any we didn’t mention that you think should have made the list? Share your thoughts and comments with us below!